Main Source, "Live at the Barbecue" (1991)
A teenager going by the name of Nasty Nas reached into his rhymebook for this Main Source posse cut alongside Fatal and Akinyele. When it dropped, says Nelson George, it "made him an instant Big Apple cult figure." MC Serch, who was moving from rapping into promotion, was trying to get him a record deal — and he imagines he wasn't the only one. But, as he says, "He was an enigma in hip-hop, no one knew how to get in touch with him." Nas appeared on two more songs — Serch's own "Back to the Grill" and the Nas original "Halftime — and the next thing we got was Illmatic.